Staff Picks: 5 EDC Bags We Want Right Now

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It's almost the end of the year, and it's been a good one for EDCers. From knives to lights to bags to tech, there have been plenty of releases primed and ready to be added to our kit. We obviously love talking about gear around here, and with this series, the Everyday Carry staff have put together a few lists of the ones we can't wait to get our hands on. We hope it gives you a good idea of products that you may have missed throughout the year, and gets you as excited as we are to pick up the latest and greatest gear for your EDC.


5 Bags We Want Right Now


Aer Duffel Pack 2

Mikey Bautista: I've been doing a lot of traveling lately and found myself in a position to try packing as light as possible for a couple of flights, meaning living out of my laptop backpack and saving myself time and hassle by not having luggage checked in. It was as convenient as you'd expect, letting me breeze through the arrival at my destination, but unpacking became a chore as a bag built for laptops isn't as friendly for organizing clothes and other gear. Aer's new Duffel Pack was on my mind a lot as I moved around as I could have used its specialized compartments like its front-loading main storage and dedicated shoe storage to streamline my stuff, while still organizing and keeping my laptop and other smaller essentials within reach. Added bonuses include its padded and adjustable, well, everything for comfort from plane to pavement, and modern construction means I get the benefit of the latest materials like 1680D Cordura nylon and Duraflex hardware to keep my gear dry and protected in inclement Philippine weather.

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DSPTCH Daypack "Moss Green"

Ed Jelley: In my opinion, DSPTCH makes some of the coolest bags around. The military-inspired designs feature super durable materials, but with a distinctly urban aesthetic. I particularly like how they make use unique fabrics like the speckled twill, black camo Cordura, and waxed canvas. This year, they released their line in a new “Moss Green” colorway. I’m guilty on several accounts of buying the same bag in different colors, and I’m strongly considering picking up another Daypack in the Moss Green. The internal organization is just enough to hold things in place, but not over the top to where you don’t have any room for larger items inside the bag. There’s a dedicated padded laptop sleeve, a tablet sleeve, internal water bottle pockets, and a useful side zip front compartment for smaller items. The bag can also hold their padded camera inserts, turning this already versatile bag into a camera carrying system. Another bonus of the Moss Green color way is the water-repelling 1680D ballistic nylon exterior (versus the thinner 500D on the “Black Camo” version I have) that helps the bag keep its shape. Best of all, DSPTCH packs are made in the USA.

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Outlier Ultrahigh Waterfall System

Bernard Capulong: I'm a self-proclaimed minimalist, except for when it comes to my black bag collection. I'm also a sucker for experimental designs and futuristic materials or construction, so the most exciting bag release from this year for me was the Ultrahigh Waterfall System from Outlier. It's an experimental cross-body bag that's simple in theory, but executed with really high level materials and hardware. Think of it like 3 MOLLE-compatible stuff sacks of different sizes attached to each other, but made using ultra light, ultra strong, waterproof materials. It's more than enough to hold just the essentials, and it rewards you for packing less by keeping lightweight and low bulk when empty. The best part is that it's super modular, meaning you can separate the bag into 3 separate MOLLE pouches, or hook the whole thing into another backpack for internal organization if needed. It's definitely on the pricier side, but few alternatives at lower pricepoints come close in terms of weight, modularity, and material performance.

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5.11 Tactical Rapid Quad Zip Pack

Jonathan Tayag: I love the durability tactical bags give me, but I dislike how hard it can be to get things in and out of them. This seems to be a common theme with tactical bags but I wish it wasn't. The 5.11 Rapid Quad Zip pack is different though. It has a 4-way U-zip flap that gives complete access to the main compartment from any point of entry. The 27 liter capacity is spacious, but it's not a bulky and heavy pack. The compression straps help keep things slim when the bag isn't filled to the brim as well. Plus it has a padded laptop section and mesh admin areas to keep my EDC organized. Also, it doesn't look too tactical, especially in some of the other colors it comes in. While there is MOLLE to accommodate any accessories I want to install, it's not overdone. It has a low-profile design that doesn't look out of place to me even in an urban environment.

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ARKTYPE Dashpack

Adam Molina: As a bag addict I really don’t need any more bags to add to my collection, but the ARKTYPE Dashpack caught my eye because of how it blends minimal and tactical design elements into a single discreet package. This obviously isn’t a bag you can live out of if you’re backpacking across Europe, but luckily I have a bag for that. The slim 15L Dashpack is more at home carrying the things that I use for work should I decide to head out to a coffee shop. It's sized about right even for leisure if I drive by a trail that looks like a fun hike. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it rains often, so having water-resistant materials to protect my gear is a must. Between the YKK zippers and the 1680 ballistic nylon exterior the Dashpack has me covered in that aspect. It also has webbing along the bottom for added modularity (first-aid kits, clipped gear, etc.), internal webbing for organization (extra charging cables, EDC gear) and dual side pockets for a water bottle, which is a useful feature that's sometimes missing from minimal bags. The Dashpack seems like it would have my back on an average day but remain practical when the going gets tough, which is what EDC gear is all about.

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What new bag is on your EDC wishlist?

Now that you've seen what we want, we'd love to hear about what bags you want that came out the past year. Let us know in the comments below, and we'll feature your picks in a follow-up article!

#bags-pouches #buying-guides see all



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Discussion (8 total)

Best edc bag for CCW? Currently running a 5.11 Covrt18. Don’t like the Vertx Gamut or EDC Ready Pack
Some nice looking packs.

Never one to shy away from offering my unsolicited opinion-- Arc'Teryx makes some nice packs in the same vein as this collection.
Dude! the Outlier Ultrahigh Waterfall System is $400 a little over the top for a man purse,
AND it doesn't even come with a padded strap. Way overpriced.
check out Oakley Extractor Sling Pack
I'd be interested to know how the DSPTCH compares to the GoRuck GR1 - big price difference, but if the DSPTCH is as well built...
Very nice article and collection of bags. I don’t need one, but sure want several of these beauties.
Well I actually spent most of the yr purchasing and sampling a variety of backpack choices. I've made trial-and-error 'lists' on Amazon that are 40+ items long. I learned a lot. Reluctantly I have to say almost none of the featured bags chosen by the usually crack, savvy, EDC staff would suit me, based on what I learned.

First, I've always felt a satchel or shoulder bag should be able to carry these 7 broad categories of items:
food, water, medical kit, hygiene items, electronics, tools, & self-defense gear. I still feel this way.

When I first re-located to NYC I was constantly in 'overkill' mode. I foolishly carried full-size military or camper's backpacks. Two or more shoulder straps, sized enough to handle everything I could possibly need. Well, eventually you learn that just won't work in Gotham. You look like a crazy idiot carrying a full loadout around town. Too bulky. Slows you down, as well.

Worse--in the big city--"bad stuff" happens very fast. You can't keep vital emergency gear 'entombed' on your back; in an emergency there is no time to remove your arms from your pack, take the pack off, bring it around in front of you, unzip pockets, and extract what you need. Immediate access to life-saving implements is a must. Bags must have many outside pockets for quick access; and with no fumbling. Even in the dark, you should be able to put your hand on the items you need.

You also sometimes need to run very fast. Good luck with a bulky pack on your shoulders; jostling and swaying back'n'forth as they always do.

So. Although there's several things I like in a full pack, I began down-sizing. I explored all manner of leg-pouches, fanny-packs (gag, too touristy), cross-body packs, ammo packs, messenger pouches, tactical bags..everything.

In the end, the size I settled on was (in some models), no larger than what 3 or 4 cans of beer might fit into.

Nevertheless, a good carry-bag, (as I ultimately refined my vision) should have all of the following:

~numerous outside pockets for quick access, incl. mesh pockets
~waterproof
~drainage holes for liquid spills
~numerous inside pockets
~numerous inner compartments, different sizes
~a top flap or 'lid'
~2-3 different ways of grabbing, carrying, or hauling it
~adjustable strap lengths
~numerous outside' hooks' for carabiners
~outside velcro surfaces for velcro ties, flaps, and holds
~pockets on top of pockets, pockets everywhere inside/out
~strong zippers
~strong zipper 'pulls' made with paracord loops
~padded shoulder strap
~straps which can be removed or stashed inside
~modularity: add-on or remove bags
~dark-colored exterior, but light interior
~bag exterior should have one bright element to help find in dark
~needs very strong fabric construction with 'over-stitched' seams
~bag should not 'sway' or 'shift' on your body as you bike or run
~primary shoulder strap should not be 'just one length'
~surface of bag resting against your body should be breathable mesh
~surface of bag resting against your body should have a large, open, concealed pocket
~can be secured in a variety of ways to your body (at belt, on leg, high on shoulder, cross shoulder, low on shoulder, against side, against spine, etc)
~coin pocket outside of bag
~small pocket for phone or pager, on outside of bag
~roomy main compartment
~Molle compatible (if possible)
~stylish enough for restaurants, not a 'Unabomber' -looking pack
~lightweight-- you should 'forget you're wearing it'.
~wear on 1 shoulder OR 2 shoulders
~bag should not 'bulge' or 'distort' shape when fully loaded
~primary carry strap should release with 1-click
~must not hang off one's shoulder like a man-purse or 'murse'

Naturally, its hard to find all this in one product. But I'm pretty satisfied with the one I ultimately gravitated toward. The overall design I settled on was a 'banana' or 'crescent' shaped bag from Innturt. It is a sling bag--just one strap. Its just a bare sliver in size compared to the 5 packs in the EDC team's Top-5 list; but it fits all of my 7 'genres' of vital EDC gear.

Initially I tried it, but then set it aside after two weeks. I doubted it. Eventually I went back to it. Modified the carry strap length. That did the trick.

One remaining problem was still my tendency to overload. You simply can't carry every single bit of EDC gear you want to carry in NYC. Reason must intercede. Assume you will be rescued, you're not in the Grand Tetons. Think carefully about what you're likely to need --depending on your commuting route--and only pack those items. Sacrifices have to be made. Being strict like this makes the Innturt bag work.

Exact model: "Innturt Nylon Sling Chest Bag Daypack Bicycle Travel Gym Backpack". Sure, it doesn't succeed in every single criteria listed above. But it comes the closest I can find.

And of course my preference for this bag, doesn't mean I don't have other bags for other purposes: a full-sized 2-strap backpack which is my bug-out bag for a domestic emergency (say a fire in my apartment building). I also have a large 36" duffel (bug-out bag No.2) for any more serious circumstance (say, a flood).

And that's all I have to say on the subject of day-packs. Whew. Yuh heard muh rulin'...this is how one survives Brooklyn and Manhattan on a daily basis. Take my word for it!